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        a home based business onlinehome business ideas


        ============================================================
           IN THIS ISSUE
        ============================================================

        1.  Welcome and Update from Elena
        2.  Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Online
         Researcher/Abstractor
        3.  Feature Article - Your Online Business's Most Valuable
         Asset
        4.  Program Review - AIS Media
        5.  Web Watch - Flame Baiting
        6.  Pro-motion Column - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"
        7.  Freebies
        8.  Subscriber Q&A
        9.  This Week's Web Site Pick
        12.  Subscription Management
        14.  Contact Information

        ============================================================
        1. Welcome and Update from Elena
        ============================================================

        Hello again, and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers
        who have joined us this week!

        I hope you're all having/had an enjoyable Easter break.

        Thank you for all the responses to my question last week about
        whether you would be interested in receiving AHBBO in HTML
        format.  The overwhelming consensus was a resounding YES!
        So I guess that gives me another project for the "to do" list.
        Don't worry if you prefer not to receive AHBBO in HTML format
        though.  It will continue to be delivered in text format as well.

        There will be a slight change to the publication date of the
        next three issues of AHBBO due to various travel and other
        commitments I have over the next couple of weeks.  This
        means the April 28 issue will be published on April 30, the
        May 5 issue on May 3 and the May 12 issue on May 14.

        Finally, I'm WAY behind on my email for one reason or
        another.  I know I've received emails from many of you that I
        simply haven't had time to respond to yet.  I'm sorry for the
        delay but I will be responding very soon, I promise!

        Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this week's issue.
        Remember, this newsletter is for YOU! If you have comments
        or suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed,
        or would just like to share your experiences with other
        subscribers, I want to hear from you! Please send comments,
        questions and stories to Contact By Email
         

        ============================================================
        2.  Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Online
         Researcher and/or Abstractor
        ============================================================

        What is the single greatest commodity in demand online today?
        Information.  The Internet is quickly becoming THE source for
        information on every subject under the sun.  This has lead to
        an increasing demand, not only for people who can prepare
        abstracts for online application (condense lengthy reports, papers,
        etc. for online database and information services) but also for
        people who can carry out research on behalf of businesses
        using information available online (eg databases, indexes,
        Internet).

        As an independent or freelance online researcher, you provide
        information services in your chosen area of expertise to individuals
        and organizations of all descriptions from the small business
        owner who commissions you to carry out research and prepare
        a report on trends in consumer shopping habits, to the
        mid-sized corporation that doesn't have its own in-house
        research department and outsources its research requirements
        to independent researchers, to the major corporation that does
        have its own research department but utilizes independent
        researchers to handle overflow projects.

        Useful Resources:

        Professional Association:
        National Federation of Abstracting and Information Services
        1518 Walnut Street #307, Philadelphia PA 19102.
        (215) 893-1561

        Website:
        The Association of Independent Information Professionals
        http://www.aiip.org

        Books:
        Guide to Careers in Abstracting and Indexing
        Gale Directory of Online Databases

        ============================================================
        3.  Feature Article - Your Online Business's Greatest Asset
        ============================================================

        By Elena Fawkner

        One of the most common questions I get asked goes
        something like this: "I've just signed up for your xyz program
        and it's great.  But now I want to start making money by
        selling it to others.  How do I find people to sell it to?"

        The stock-standard reply goes like this (regular readers
        of AHBBO will recognize the following words from last
        week's Q&A segment):

        "First off, what everyone needs to understand is that this
        business is a numbers game.  Something like 2-3%
        (estimates vary) of all people who read your ad will respond
        to it.  Of these respondents, a similar percentage will
        actually buy from you.  So, as you can see, the name of the
        game is to get your ad in front of as many pairs of eyes as
        possible.

        "It is for this reason that spamming is such a problem.
        People come to the realization that this is a numbers game
        and, when they do, the uninformed conclude that all they
        have to do is bombard their message to as many people as
        possible and 2-3% of 2-3% will yield sales in sufficient
        numbers to make it worthwhile.  This approach does have some
        superficial logic to it, of course, which is why it seems to
        appeal to so many.

        "What the rest of us understand, however, is that this
        approach simply doesn't work.  Most people will not only not
        even open your message (we all develop a spam radar very
        early on) but won't deal with you in any shape, manner or
        form because these tactics paint you as a charlatan.  In
        addition, of course, spamming is downright illegal in many
        countries and parts of countries.

        "So, how do you, legitimately, get your ad in front of the
        numbers of eyes you need to generate a fair return on your
        investment?  One approach, certainly, is to post your ads in
        the free classified sites.  Superficial logic dictates that
        it's sensible to see whether your free ad generates a
        response before spending money for paid advertising.  Well,
        your free ad WILL generate a response.  Unfortunately, it
        probably won't be the kind of response you're hoping for.
        Usually, you'll just wind up on some spammer's mailing list
        or find your autoresponder bombarded with other people's
        advertising messages.

        "The reason for this is simple.  Who do you know who goes to
        the free classified sites when they're looking for a
        business opportunity such as the one you're promoting? Not
        many.  The reality is that the vast majority of people who
        frequent the free classified sites are those who are placing
        their OWN free classified ads!

        "So, what's the answer?  It's threefold.  The first is
        something to get going with right now.  The second and third
        are longer term investments in your business that will yield
        results over the longer term.

        "Firstly, when you're just starting out, you're going to have
        to rely on paid advertising to generate all your enquiry.
        This means spending money on paid ads in ezines that target
        your target market.  You need to write a few different
        classified ads and monitor the results, tweaking your ads,
        one element at a time, until you have one ad (or a few) that
        consistently generates good enquiry for you.

        "Once you're at that point, you can begin to start
        advertising aggressively, confident that your ad "pulls".
        Be prepared, also, to reinvest your profits back into
        advertising.  This is how to build a serious business.

        "Secondly, and longer-term, create your own website.  The
        traffic to your website is a rich source of prospects since
        these people are already obviously highly interested in what
        you have to offer since they've sought you out.

        "Thirdly, develop your own list.  This means capturing the
        email addresses of your site visitors.  You do this by
        inviting them to leave their email address with you so you
        can stay in contact with them about developments at your
        site of interest to them.

        "Also, supplement your website with a newsletter that people
        can sign up for at your site.  By establishing and developing
        relationships with your site visitors and newsletter subscribers,
        you are investing in your own highly targeted list of people
        who are likely to be very interested in the programs you are
        promoting not only now but in the future.

        "This is the basic approach to running a business online.
        Don't be concerned if you're not generating quick sales at
        this stage.  As you can see it takes a LOT of time, effort
        and commitment.  The good news is that your investment will
        pay off over time."
         

        The focus of this article is the third step of that process:
        developing your own list.  As suggested above, there are two
        main ways to go about doing this.  The first requires that you
        have your own website.  The second doesn't.

        THE WEBSITE-GENERATED LIST

        If you have your own website, you need a way to capture the
        email addresses of your site visitors.  Now, "capture" doesn't
        mean using some devious means of tracking email addresses
        without the knowledge of your hapless site visitor, if such a
        thing is even possible.  What it means is directly inviting your
        website visitors to provide you their email address so you can stay
        in contact with them, let them know about changes to your
        site and let them know about new products and services that may
        be of interest to them.

        Your likelihood of success or otherwise in getting people to give
        you their email address is directly related to one thing and one
        thing only: the content value of your site.  If your site is barely
        more than a sales page for all of your various affiliate programs,
        don't expect people to give you their email address.  Why should
        they?  What have you given them of real value that would make
        them think that you may have something of even more value to
        talk to them about in the future?

        To the contrary, your visitors are likely to be disappointed and
        annoyed to find that, despite the promising description in your
        search engine listing, your site is nothing more than a collection
        of affiliate programs they could have found from any one of a
        thousand or more sites they've been to this week.

        So get the foundation right before you start to build your house
        and way before you start inviting people over.  Take the time
        to create a website that is unique, that has REAL content
        and which offers visitors something of genuine value.  This
        takes REAL work and REAL effort and REAL time.  That's
        because you're creating a REAL business!

        Once you have created a real website with real content,
        then, and only then, should you invite visitors to leave you
        their email address for future contact purposes.  You will, of
        course, establish and adhere to a privacy policy for your
        site to govern the uses to which any email addresses will
        be put.  In particular, you must keep those addresses secure
        and confidential and never EVER reveal or otherwise make
        them available to any third parties.

        Over time you are going to amass a significant number
        of email addresses.  These addresses are your "list".
        Once you have a "list", you have a ready-made group of
        qualified prospects to whom to market your existing and
        future product range.

        THE EZINE OPTION

        Publishing your own ezine is the other main way of
        cultivating your own list.  This option doesn't require that
        you have a website (although it is recommended you do
        both).

        Although you may not have a website, the same comments
        about quality of content that were made in the context of
        websites apply equally in the case of an ezine.

        It is only if you publish an ezine with quality content (and
        this means a LOT more than publishing a couple of
        articles written by other people with a few ads thrown in
        for good measure) that you will attract and, more importantly,
        retain, subscribers.

        Your ezine then becomes the vehicle to communicate
        any offers you want to make to your list.  Because you
        have been communicating with your readers week in, week
        out, because you deliver consistent quality content, and
        because you've been around for a while and seem to know
        what you're talking about, your subscribers get to know you
        and trust you.  And that makes any purchasing decision
        much easier.

        Some publishers add anyone to their subscriber list who
        makes contact with them.  Others only add subscribers who
        specifically request to be subscribed to the ezine.  It is this
        latter group who will cultivate the better quality list because
        the average interest level of subscribers will be much higher.

        If you intend to accept paid advertising in your ezine, you
        should definitely stick to the strictly opt-in version.  Advertisers
        will only pay for highly targeted lists that get results.  Sure,
        you may make the first sale but what you want is repeat
        advertising and this depends on your advertisers getting good
        returns from the ads they place with you.
         

        There are many ways to make a decent income from an
        online business but none of them come with shortcuts.
        Because online marketing is a numbers game, you must
        somehow find a legitimate way to get your message before as
        many pairs of eyes as possible.  But as we've all heard
        many, many times before, it takes an average of seven
        exposures to your message before someone will make a
        purchase decision.

        Sure, if you spend sufficient money you can generate enough
        exposures to make the sale.  THAT sale that is.  But then you
        have to start all over again to make the next one.  You lose your
        investment of time, money and energy as soon as that one ad
        campaign is over.

        The point to take away with you is that, as well as being a
        numbers game, internet marketing is as much a relationship
        game.  By cultivating your own opt-in list you have created an
        established bank of pre-qualified, targeted, interested prospects
        who know you and trust you.  You'll find that your response rate
        will be much higher than from a cold-start ad campaign in someone
        else's ezine.  But it's not easy.  It takes a lot of work, time and
        effort to create a quality list.  And so it should.  You're building a
        business, after all.

        So treat your list like gold.  It's your online business's greatest
        asset.  Besides you, that is.

        -----

        **Reprinting of this article is welcome!**
        This article may be freely reproduced provided that: (1) you
        use the autoresponder copy which contains a resource box;
        and (2) you leave the resource box intact.

        ============================================================
        4.  Program Review - AIS Media
        ============================================================

        This is one of the first affiliate programs I joined and it is still
        one of the best.  In fact it's consistently rated as one of
        AssociatePrograms.com's top 10.

        The AIS Media "Dealer Program", as AIS calls its affiliate
        program, consists of a stable of four different products/
        services:

        => webhosting;
        => credit card merchant accounts;
        => iLynk (never pay retail again); and
        => "Secrets" internet marketing program.

        You can choose to market all products or only one or two, it's
        up to you.

        Enrolling as an affiliate (dealer) is free and you get your own
        website (also free).

        Commission structures:

        => webhosting - $5-$60 (residual commission structure)
        => credit card merchant accounts - $70-$175
        => iLynk - $15
        => Secrets - $15.

        Not exactly earth-shattering commission rates (unless you make
        volume sales of high-end webhosting and credit card merchant
        accounts) but a solid, easy to sell, well-supported group of
        products from a reputable, professional organization.

        Well worth considering adding to your affiliate portfolio.
         

        ============================================================
        5.  Web Watch
        ============================================================

        This week's web watch concerns the proliferation of flame-baiters
        who have apparently decided to target ezine publishers and
        (presumably) other list-owners.

        I received this question from a subscriber during the week.  I'm
        including it here rather than in the Q&A segment because it's
        really a 'web' issue and relevant to anyone managing a list or
        thinking about starting one:

        "Hi Elena:

        I've just started my own ezine following the advice you
        gave in your recent tutorial.  One thing I wasn't expecting
        was how RUDE some people can be!  They sign up for
        my newsletter and then, when they don't want to receive
        it any more, send me nasty emails ordering me to remove
        them immediately and accusing me of all sorts of untrue
        things!  It's as if they think I'm spamming them or something
        which I'm not because everyone who is on my list has signed
        themselves up!

        Is dealing with nasty people like this part and parcel of
        publishing an ezine or am I just unlucky?  If this is what I can
        expect for my trouble I don't think it's worth it!  Thanks.

        Sara"

        Hi Sara.  No, unfortunately, you're not just unlucky.  This
        sort of thing seems to have become an unfortunate fact of
        life for those of us running opt-in lists I'm afraid.

        There are two groups of people who play this game.  The
        first do it for kicks.  Using multiple aliases, they sign up to
        newsletters (invariably using free web-based email
        addresses) that they have absolutely no interest in reading.
        This is the group whose mail is returned undeliverable because
        their email boxes are always full of newsletters others have
        been sending them.  They do it for pure nuisance value.

        In addition to the "bounce" problem these people create,
        they are also "flame baiters".  They'll send you a provocative
        email trying to get you upset and to try and engage you in
        email warfare.  As you can see, they obviously lead very full
        and productive lives.

        I know of some publishers who refuse to accept subscriptions
        from the free email addresses for this very reason.  I don't
        have that strict a policy.  There are plenty of people who
        subscribe using free email accounts who are perfectly
        legitimate so, I figure, why penalize them?

        What I HAVE done, however, and primarily to try and protect
        the integrity of the subscriber database for the benefit of AHBBO
        advertisers, is to institute a zero tolerance policy for mail returned
        because of full mailboxes.  This policy has been in operation for
        the past month or so and has resulted in many email addresses
        being deleted each week.  To give you an idea, the first week I
        instituted this policy, I culled over 300 addresses (out of a total
        of, then, 4200 or so).  Now I'm deleting about 50 "full mailbox"
        addresses a week on average.

        The software I use to automatically process subscribe/unsubscribe
        requests automatically deletes bounced messages (using criteria
        I specify, such as full mailboxes).  I never even see the email that
        bounces.  So if the object of the exercise is to annoy me, they're
        wasting their time.  And I don't respond to provocative emails for the
        same reason.  The first sentence is usually enough to identify
        the message as flame bait.  These emails just get tossed unread
        and without a second's thought or any response.

        The second group of people hide behind the anonymity of
        the internet and use it as a shield from behind which they
        spew forth nasty invective which, of course, they wouldn't
        dare do face to face.  They're just cowards, plain and simple.
        I can only think that they're so ineffectual at asserting themselves
        in real life that they try to make up for it by acting out their
        "assertive" fantasies online where it's nice and safe.

        So, in short, develop a thick skin and don't take it personally.
        Think of it as a cost of doing business.  It's these people who
        have the problem, not you.  They're simply not worth the
        time or energy getting worked up about.  Focus instead on the
        many subscribers who value the information you provide and
        spend your time and energy on them.
         

        ============================================================
        6.  Pro-motion - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"
        ============================================================

        Q. Can you please tell me the difference between an ezine
        and an electronic newsletter? Are they one in the same?
        (Elizabeth)

        A. This is a great question since a true professional should
        know the difference. Very specific differences do exist
        between ezines and electronic newsletters.

        The word "ezine" came from "electronic magazine." However, we
        all know that ezines are much shorter in length than magazines.
        Most people use these terms - ezine and electronic newsletter -
        interchangeably.

        Technically, a newsletter of any kind is geared to specific
        subject matter relating to an organization or one topic. A web
        site owner might send out a newsletter containing only
        information about his/her web site, affiliate group or
        organization.

        Ezines, on the other hand, will have articles on many different
        subjects. They are more like an off-line magazine and geared to
        a more public audience.

        As a general rule, a newsletter would not carry ads. The
        newsletter is simply to convey information of a specific nature
        to a specific group of interested people. It does not stand
        alone but is only relevant to a larger interest. Ezines, like
        off-line magazines (or even newspapers), would carry
        advertising since this is how the ezine is supported financially.

        Example:
        For the International Association for Professionalism Online, I
        send out an electronic (rather than printed) newsletter to IAPO
        members only. This newsletter only contains information
        relevant to IAPO. No ads are inserted since it is merely a
        means of keeping members informed on matters related to the
        organization.

        I also publish an ezine which is sent to anyone who is
        interested in subscribing. The "general public" so to speak.
        This ezine is supported by paid advertisements and contains
        several different kinds of articles on various subjects of
        general interest.

        I hope I haven't added confusion to the subject for you. For
        online purposes, most people just consider both the same.
        As a professional, it's good to know the difference and choose
        the proper term for your publication.

        jl scott, ph.d., Author
        Copyright © 2017, All Rights Reserved

        ============================================================
        7.  Freebies
        ============================================================

        If you're new to A Home-Based Business Online, be sure to
        visit http://www.shelteredturtle.com/ for many more freebies like
        this.

        ============================================================
        8.  Subscriber Q&A
        ============================================================

        Hi Elena!

        I've received several emails lately from people who tell me that
        I can make $50,000 within 30 days just by sending a $5 bill
        by snail mail to the first 5 people whose names appear on a
        list of names at the bottom of the email.  Then, all I have to
        do is delete the first name from the list and add my name to
        the end and send the message on to others.  Eventually, when
        my name reaches the top, I will be the one receiving $5 bills
        in the mail from thousands of people.

        It sounds too good to be true (so it probably is) but I also
        don't see how it can fail if everyone plays by the rules and
        they must if they are to receive money themselves!  Am I
        breaking the law if I participate in this?

        Jim

        ------

        Hi Jim:

        In a word, YES!  This is nothing more or less than the good
        old chain letter that's been around since time immemorial.
        Unfortunately the Internet, with its ability to reach heretofore
        untold numbers of unsuspecting potential victims, is fertile
        ground for those perpetuating chain letters (along with practically
        any other scam you can mention).  So, put these emails where
        they belong, Jim, in your Trash folder, and repeat after me:
        "there is no such thing as a free lunch ...   there is no such thing
        as a free lunch ...".

        For more on this and other current scams, see this week's
        website pick, Scambusters (segment 9.).

        ------

        If YOU have a question for the Q&A segment, send it along!
         

        ============================================================
        9.  This Week's Web Site Pick - Scambusters
        ============================================================

        http://www.scambusters.com

        This site is probably the web's most authoritative source
        on all things scam.

        The site includes (among many other things):

        => Scam resources - preventative resources to protect
         yourself or, if it's too late, how to get justice.
        =>  How to minimize credit card fraud.
        =>  Urban Legends - check here BEFORE passing on that
         email message to 100 of your closest friends.  It may
         be a hoax.
        =>  Real Viruses - the few REAL email viruses to watch out
         for.
        =>  Stop Spam - things you can do to reduce the assault on
         your mailbox.
        =>  Recent scams - website, email and other.

        Sign up for their monthly newsletter too, to stay ahead of the
        game.
         

        _________________________

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